Scenes from Canucks practice: Ethan Bear and Jack Studnicka join the team as Quinn Hughes returns
Photo credit:© Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
1 year ago
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Happy Sunday Canucks fans!
The Vancouver Canucks have won two straight games and bested the Pittsburgh Penguins Friday night at home in what was hands down their most complete effort of the season.
Sure, you should certainly be cautiously optimistic about the Canucks, who took eight games just to record their first win of the season, but Friday night was certainly something for this group to build off of.
Plus, the Canucks are getting some reinforcements for their woeful defence corps, both in the form of their blueline getting healthy and in the form of their acquisition of Ethan Bear from the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.
Bear took the ice at Rogers Arena for the first time today as the Canucks practiced ahead of their Tuesday night game against the New Jersey Devils.
Here’s what went down at today’s practice.
What we saw
The big news of the day was that Quinn Hughes returned after missing the past four games due to injury.
Hughes was right back on a pairing with Luke Schenn, as he was before heading to the injured reserve.
Newcome Ethan Bear skated on the Canucks’ “fourth pairing” with Riley Stillman, who also made his return to practice after the Canucks placed him on IR last week.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson was not at practice Sunday morning, and head coach Bruce Boudreau called it a maintenance day.
It will certainly be interesting to see how head coach Bruce Boudreau goes about putting together his defence pairings, as Ethan Bear hasn’t played much at all this season
As for the forward line combinations, Jack Studnicka slotted in for Sheldon Dries on the Canucks’ fourth line alongside Tanner Pearson and Nils Höglander, while Vasily Podkolzin found himself on the third line alongside Nils Aman and Dakota Joshua.
What was said
Bruce Boudreau spoke about his two new players, Jack Studnicka and Ethan Bear.
“I mean, all he had to do was watch one or two of those centremen and if he learned anything, that should really be helpful,” Boudreau said of what Studnicka may have learned by playing in Boston.
On Bear, Boudreau said, “He’s an NHL defenceman first of all. “He’s solid, he can skate, and he can move the puck, that’s something we have in Quinn, but when he’s out of the lineup… it’s more of a hard-nosed defensive kind of corps, and in today’s world, you need those puck-moving defencemen to get it to the forwards, so we’re hoping that’s what he brings. I’m pretty sure he’s gonna be hungry, he hasn’t played a game this year. He’s been sat out and bag skated for most of the year, so he’s pretty excited I think about being here.”
It’s true, Bear is very excited about the chance he’s almost certainly going to get in Vancouver.
“It feels awesome,” Ethan Bear told reporters in his first media appearance as a Canuck. “Vancouver is a team that I watched a lot growing up and yeah, it just it’s a special feeling. My fiancée is from Kelowna, so it’s close to home, and it honestly just feels good to be back in Canada.
“It’s been a while since I’ve played and you know, it’s been a lot of skating and working out. So it’s just going to be really nice to just honestly get to play a game and compete again, and that’s what I’m looking forward to the most,” Bear said of his new opportunity with the Canucks.
“I’m really excited, like this team is really good. Obviously, it’s not the start they wanted but you know, with this lineup and the leaders they have, I have a strong belief that we can easily turn this thing around by just sticking to it and working together and honestly, I think with the character we have in this group, and just from what I’ve seen in these early days, I think we could turn it around.”
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